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There are many theories with regard to the
causes of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, many of which may be indeed touching
on the truth or at least touching on an aggravator or contributor to these
afflictions. Diseases in general
have been growing in epidemic proportion over at least the past 20 years,
especially in the
, where our increasingly toxic environment and lifestyles have drifted further
and further away from what is natural in the name of progress, technology, and
profit. Chronic fatigue and
fibromyalgia are no exception, the two often being experienced together, and
possibly symptoms of the same disease. Many
agree that having one or both of these conditions reflects a compromised immune
system, but whether this has resulted from viruses or chemicals or heredity or
DNA mutations or other causes is much debated. As
in the question of the chicken or the egg, I think the answer lies in what came
first, at least in terms of triggering the disease.
We all have unique genetic
weaknesses and tendencies, but usually a disease that we may be predisposed to
will not surface unless an external environmental factor triggers it.
Viruses lay dormant in all of us, as do many bacteria.
The body's immune system keeps them in check unless the body is damaged
and becomes weak and imbalanced to the point that viruses and bacteria grow out
of control and flourish, causing disease. But
what external "triggering" factors came first to weaken the immune
system to allow such a systemic breakdown to occur?
The answer most likely lies in
how increasingly toxic and contaminated our bodies are becoming.
This cumulative toxic overload is the result of the growing number of
harmful chemicals we're exposed to in our everyday life -- over 10,000 in food
processing and preservation alone. We
eat chemically-processed foods that contain preservatives, pesticides, dyes,
hormones, bleaching agents, neurotoxic artificial sweeteners, steroids, and
antibiotics, drink hundreds of chemicals in our tap water, breathe in fumes from
factories, are bombarded with radiation from numerous and growing sources, and
chemicals are outgassed in our homes from our Teflon-coated pans to our
stain-resistant carpets. We are
surrounded with plastics, paints, solvents, cleaners, medications, and many
other toxic chemicals, and when you mix them all together in our bodies with our
own natural chemistry, as in a chemistry lab, the results can be unpredictable
and potentially explosive. In
addition, antibiotics that destroy good bacteria along with the bad have been
dangerously overprescribed, contributing to weakened immune systems, and
expensive unnatural synthetic drugs are being dispensed in record numbers that
do not cure but only suppress symptoms, while causing a plethora of harmful side
effects to the tune of billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical industry.
Recent studies have shown that
antibiotics and chemicals can permeate cell walls and destroy, damage, or mutate
mitochondria, which most claim cannot be regenerated.
What are mitochondria? In
short, they are the powerhouses of our bodies.
They assimilate food and produce critical nutrients, but their primary
function is to manufacture adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a vital component of
life. ATP is believed to provide
90-95% of all cellular energy and has been found to act as a neurotransmitter
extracellularly. Also, an enormous
amount of ATP is required by our energy-hungry muscles. Unfortunately, the brain
does not store ATP, ATP cannot be shared between organ systems, its supply is
very limited, and the demand for it by the body is very high.
Therefore, ATP must be constantly synthesized to provide a continuous
supply of energy or an ATP-imbalance occurs, which may lead to neuronal cell
deaths, chronic fatigue from lack of energy, nutritional deficiencies, and
muscle weakness and pain as in fibromyalgia, among many other symptoms.
ATP imbalance or poor regulation can be very dangerous – too much ATP
in a few areas of the body can actually be just as damaging as too little, such
as in spinal cord injuries.
Scientists have theorized that
mutations in mitochondrial DNA also contribute to aging, and when the production
of ATP is interrupted or stopped for any number of reasons, a cascade of
free-radical damage begins. The key
to chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, and many other diseases, may lie in
cellular damage by chemicals, while the road to recovery may lie in eliminating
toxins that cause cellular damage and pursuing natural courses of treatment that
help the body heal itself.
most doctors and researchers do not believe mitochondria can be repaired or
regenerated, they used to say the same thing about brain cells, and that has
since been disproved. The body is a
miraculous creation, and if it is not abused, it has many self-healing and
regenerative abilities. I came
across one University of California-Berkeley research project recently where
mitochondria in rats were able to be rejuvenated with large doses of acetyl-L-carnitine
common natural dietary supplements, which also appeared to make the old rats
more youthful (alpha-lipoic
acid may lower glucose levels, so do not take if hypoglycemic or an
alcoholic). Also, Cordyceps
given to mice has been known to cause an increased supply of ATP in the liver, has substantially
benefitted chronic fatigue sufferers, and when given in human clinical trials,
demonstrated overall improved liver health.
Guaifenesin has been used successfully by individuals with fibromyalgia
to help relieve pain. It is believed
that guaifenesin works both by causing urinary excretion of excess uric acid,
phosphate, and other substances that should have been excreted by the kidneys
that have built up in the cells and tissue to the point that they depress ATP
formation, and by actually reinforcing cell walls to minimize entry by toxins
and further damage to the cells. (There seem to be very few all-natural
products that contain guaifenesin without ephedrine or chemicals. I found
one product made by Naturade
called Herbal Expec that I would recommend)
After "Yuppie Flu"
first surfaced in the 1980's, a few progressive doctors tried giving patients
injections of adenosine monophosphate (AMP), a chemical precursor of ATP, but
this was expensive, inconvenient, difficult to tolerate, and the results were
very slow and gradual. Next, in the
1990's, oral ATP supplements were tried, and are still available today, but they
had side effects and did not allow the body to naturally assimilate the ATP
itself which makes it less targeted and effective.
But more recently, there has been significant success with another
precursor to ATP –
is a complex sugar with no side effects. It
goes to work quickly in the body, effectively fueling the mitochondria so that
additional needed ATP can be produced for many hours at a time.
In particular, it increases ATP production in muscles, including the
heart, therefore besides improving muscle strength and helping alleviate pain,
it additionally benefits individuals with heart problems, and increases blood
circulation, oxygen levels, and energy levels. Ribose
formulas often include
creatine, as the two are believed to work synergistically
together to increase overall ATP production.
With cellular damage, and the
often accompanying gut damage from ingesting chemicals, there are also often
multiple nutritional deficiencies that result from poor absorption and
assimilation, regardless if you think you have been eating well, therefore a
vitamins and minerals and
system builder is also recommended, preferably liquid sublinguals
(under the tongue) to enhance absorption. Since
our soil has been damaged from chemicals, and thus much of our food is lacking
in vitamins and minerals, the vitamin/mineral nutritional supplement should be
the one thing you take for life to maintain health even if you feel fine.
For those who can afford it, a new spectroscopic test is available from Spectracell
Laboratories that examines white blood cells, which help protect the body and
combat disease, and can pinpoint your specific and unique cellular deficiencies.
Although the natural
supplements mentioned above may be extremely helpful in repairing cell damage
over time, increasing energy, and may potentially help alleviate symptoms in the
short-term, in order to foster long-term healing and maintenance of health, it
is critical that toxins that store in fatty tissue be removed from the body,
such as with binding whole grains, natural detoxifiers, and chelation
further toxic exposure that contributes to cellular damage and other health
problems be avoided. Since your body is
likely chemically addicted to many substances, a natural course of treatment
that involves the elimination of chemicals often results in short-term
withdrawal symptoms or
temporary exacerbation of symptoms where you feel worse before you feel better,
but this stage passes quickly.
more you understand what you're fighting and your options, the better armed you
will be to battle it. And half the
battle is knowing and eliminating what caused the disease in the first place.
Although there are supplements that may help, natural steps to better
health do not have to be prohibitively expensive. There
are many inexpensive dietary measures that can be taken.
To learn more about the thousands of harmful toxins in our food and
everyday environment and how to avoid them, how to bind toxins and remove them
from the body, how to treat symptoms of disease naturally, and how to adopt a
non-toxic chemical-free diet and natural lifestyle that will help your body heal
itself, please select the links to these subjects found on the NatureGem home
page at http://www.naturegem.com.